Some 'thwarted' principal's efforts

Some difficult staff members at the Alexandra School have “thwarted” Principal Jeff Broomes’ efforts to implement recommended changes at that institution.

The Commission of Enquiry investigating Alexandra’s administration heard this today from English teacher Vernell Woods, the first member of the school’s teaching staff to speak in favour Broome’s management.

Woods, who said she was the principal’s “friend”, and that the two of them taught at St. Lucy Secondary at one stage, said there was disrespect and defiance of Broomes’ policies and ideas.

And she claimed that Deputy Principal Beverley Lashley was “unprofessional” towards Broomes.

Woods, started her evidence this afternoon at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, following that of her colleague Amaida Greaves.

The witness told the commission Broomes attempted to improve things at Alexandra, specifically implementing recommendations from the 2010 Inspection Report, but that he didn’t get much cooperation despite asking teaches to help him find a solution.

“They did not cooperate,” she said while responding to questions from commission junior counsel Michael Yearwood.

Woods, who said if an idea originated with Broomes it was not “given a chance”, told Commissioner Frederick Waterman the way Lashley responded to Broomes made matters worse.

“If the principal sends out a notice she would put it on the board and persons would go to her and ask for clarification or whatever and she would laugh and make snide comments about it and just, to me, not behave professionally… I think it is unprofessional, I think it is not the thing to do,” she said.

The teacher said while she had a cordial relationship with the deputy, “in her mind sometimes” she behaved unprofessional towards the principal. “Sometimes the principal and the deputy would be at a table chairing a meeting and he would say something and she would roll her eyes,” she noted.

But the witness added, that the negativity towards the principal did not end there, and she even observed at least one junior member of staff being unprofessional towards Broomes. (SC)

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